I love language. Ever since I was a little kid, I can remember playing with words and writing them down and remembering great expressions. Do you remember asking friends, "DO YOU HAVE THE AUDACITY TO DOUBT MY VERACITY, TO INSINUATE THAT I PREVARICATE?? IF SO, YOU HAVE THE MOST PUGNACIOUS DISPOSITION, FAR BEYOND MY PERSONAL COMPREHENSION! Boy, did I think I was cool because i knew the meaning of each of those words and besides, they sounded so wonderful.
So, now when I come across language that blooms in my ears, I try to write it down (unfortunately, at my present stage of life, memorizing and remembering aren't always possible). I happened to pick up one of my daughter's books, Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez, written by Richard Rodriguez. It's a book about the immigrant experience, specifically the newcomers adjusting to the gringos, their ways and especially their language. He spoke of the comfort that being among those who spoke your language would bring him as a child. He wrote, "A family member would say something to me and I would feel myself specially recognized.... I would feel embraced by the sounds of their words. It became the language of joyful return" Language can do that.
Rodriguez makes the case against the use of Bilingual Education, but what interested me for the moment was his own use of the language that became his own as he became an American. This is how he put it when still a child listening to English and trying to speak it. "Tongues explored the edges of words, especially the fat vowels" What a GREAT way to express what it feels like learning the new language, English.